How to Prevent RSV in Children And Adults

December 4, 2022

Parent worried that child has a fever and that it could be RSV

There are many strains of human respiratory viruses, some of which can be extremely dangerous for infants, children and even older adults with weaker immune systems. RSV is one of the preliminary viruses a child may develop that can be very challenging for their growing immune system. Even though it’s not the flu, RSV is often referred to as “the flu” because it commonly occurs during the same time period every year, usually between October and March. 

Because there is an outbreak of RSV throughout the U.S and children’s hospitals are filling up with children sick with RSV, AFC Urgent Care Springfield wants to make sure you’re prepared with this guide on RSV tips and prevention

What is RSV?

RSV is short for "respiratory syncytial virus", which primarily attacks the respiratory tract located in your child’s lungs.


RSV symptoms include: runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, hoarse voice, sneezing and coughing. 


It is important to know that RSV is not the same as the influenza virus. However, both viruses are very contagious and often occur during the same time period every year. This makes it important for parents to protect their children from contracting respiratory illnesses. 


If you already, GET YOUR FLU SHOT! We offer the highly effective quadrivalent flu shot and flu shot for seniors.


How to prevent RSV in infants and children

There are many ways that you can protect your infant or child from contracting the RSV virus. The best way to prevent the spread of illness is to make sure you’re washing your hands frequently throughout the day. It’s suggested that you use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. You can also wear gloves when out in public to protect yourself from coming into contact with the RSV virus or touching contaminated surfaces. Lastly, it’s critical that you do not let your child around people who are sick. This includes both your family members and friends. 


Be mindful of who you invite to your holiday gathering as this can raise you or your child’s risk of getting RSV. 


Can Adults Get RSV, Too?

Although it is more common in infants and children, adults can get it too! Adults or those with weaker immune systems or are currently being treated for lung diseases like asthma have a higher risk of developing RSV and having complications like breathing difficulty. So, think twice when having a holiday party this December as grandma might get sick if you don’t take the right safety precautions.

How to treat your infant, child or adult with RSV

If your infant or child is diagnosed with RSV, there are a few things you can do to reduce their symptoms. To begin with, it’s important to keep your child hydrated. This can be done by giving your child plenty of fluids. It’s recommended that your child drink plenty of water, juice and/or breast milk. Another way to reduce your child’s symptoms is to administer over-the-counter (OTC) medications. You can purchase infant cough and cold medications. It’s important that you speak to your doctor before administering these medications to your infant.


On the same token, adults can follow similar practices as bed rest and hydration. But it’s important to pay attention as the more severe symptoms of RSV like difficulty breathing calls for immediate medical attention!


AFC Urgent Care Springfield Offers RSV Tests For All Ages

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of RSV in infants, children and adults so that they can be treated as soon as possible. For this reason, AFC Urgent Care in Springfield is offering RSV nasal swab tests to help you have peace of mind this holiday season. We also offer COVID testing and flu shots because those winter illnesses are circulating around Massachusetts, too!


AFC in Springfield is open 7 days a week and offers walk-ins and appointments online! We hope you enjoy the holidays sick free!

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